Mohamed Sanu: 51.0
Unlike his previously discussed teammate, Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu had a phenomenal day in Week 5. You wouldn’t necessarily know that based on his conventional statistics; he had five receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown. A good day, but not a great one. However, his OSM grade of 51 was the highest of any receiver or tight end graded so far.
One of the major factors contributing to Sanu’s high grade was his separation. On each of his five targets, the nearest defender was, on average, 4.1 yards away, the second-highest average among qualifying receivers and tight ends.
Being that wide open led to Sanu catching 100% of his passes. That catch percentage was certainly affected by the huge amount of separation that he had, but separation isn’t the only factor involved. Consider the player who averaged the most separation, Sanu’s teammate Calvin Ridley. Ridley put 4.4 yards of space in between himself and defenders across his nine targets, but he still only caught five of them. So Sanu having the same number of catches on four fewer targets is incredibly impressive.
For those who look at our OSM grades regularly, Sanu’s performance shouldn’t actually be all that shocking. He has already had multiple weeks with grades in the high 40’s, and none of his grades have been lower than 30. However, to the average NFL Week 5 viewer, Sanu might not even be considered the second-best wide receiver on his own team. So, until he starts to get some real recognition, I’ll continue to consider his excellent performances surprising.